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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie's message is all about revenge. The hero is allowed to kill in order to get his vengeance, and it's unsettling to see the crowd cheering (and the good guys smiling and clapping) at the bad guy's brutal, bloody death.
Positive Role Models
Aside from the discipline and skill required to become a martial arts master, the movie has no behavior or role models to aspire to; the entire focus is violence, revenge, and killing.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent martial arts fighting. Bloody wounds. Fighting with glass shards embedded in hand-wraps. Fighting with swords. Murder/killing. Guns and shooting. Violent revenge is celebrated.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passionate kissing and a sex scene between the male and female leads; female lead shown topless. Two women disrobe; their naked bottoms are shown (they're following a fighter, presumably to his bedroom).
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Infrequent uses of "s--t," "ass," and "Jesus Christ." The end credits include a rap song with mostly unintelligible lyrics that very possibly include "f--k" and the "N" word.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A secondary character appears to have a drinking problem; he's constantly swigging from cans or bottles. He's accused of being "so drunk" and is asked to stop drinking. Some smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kickboxer: Vengeance is a remake of co-star Jean-Claude Van Damme's own Kickboxer (1989). Alain Moussi takes over as the lead character, while Van Damme plays an older martial arts trainer. Violence is strong, with lots of martial arts fights, some of them very bloody and resulting in deaths. One fight includes shards of glass embedded in hand-wraps, and another involves swords. Guns and shooting are also shown. There's passionate kissing and a sex scene that's fairly mild overall, but there's also partial nudity (breasts, bottoms). A secondary character appears to have a drinking problem -- he's constantly shown drinking, and characters comment on his drunkenness. Language is infrequent but includes "s--t" and "ass." Revenge is the sole message and motivation here, so there's not much in the way of messages or role models. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The original Kickboxer might have been cheesy, but it also had Van Damme's star power; the chronically uninteresting hero of this awful remake can't even get close to him. As Sloane, Moussi seems slow and clumsy, though this is perhaps not helped by John Stockwell's clunky direction. No matter how many training montages Kickboxer: Vengeance has -- and there are quite a few -- Sloane never seems to get any better.
When Sloane finally fights Tong Po, no amount of scriptwriting or choreography can make it look like Sloane is winning -- and when he finally turns the tables, it seems like cheating (Tong Po could have, and should have, won). Moreover, Sloane's shallow romance with a cop (Sara Malakul Lane) feels completely tacked-on. And real-life mixed-martial artist Gina Carano has a role but doesn't actually get to fight! Van Damme even looks a bit sheepish in his role, wearing sunglasses and a Panama hat in nearly every shot.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.